Claflin University has received a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges that will support Panther STEPS, a program designed to become a national model for developing and retaining freshmen.
In addition to funding for Panther STEPS, the CIC grant will allow Claflin access to the organization’s Engaging Evidence Consortium, a collection of institutions who pool innovative ideas for best practices and assessment avenues.
The grant will allow Claflin administrators and faculty to attend workshops, seminars and participate in CIC’s online community.
“The Consortium will assist the University in implementing an innovative modus operandi that will enhance learning and ensure student success,” said Dr. Zia Hasan, vice president for planning, assessment and information services. “The results when validated will create a national model for student success at similar institutions across the nation.”
Panthers STEPS was developed as Claflin’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) during the reaffirmation process by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools last year. The five-year plan calls for a multi-faceted approach to heighten freshman grades and retention rates by enhancing entry level courses, creating more orientation classes, engaging students in community service and better preparing them for academic success.
Dr. Mary Williams was appointed director of Panther STEPS earlier this year. The program officially begins in fall 2012.
CIC is the major national service organization for all small and mid-sized independent, liberal arts colleges and universities in America. It focuses on providing to services to campus leaders through programs, workshops and seminars to assist institutions in improving their overall academic and administrative performance.